We Can Do More With Your Support

Colchester Museums Development Foundation supports Colchester Museums to inspire and enrich our local community, through the preservation, exploration, and sharing of the city’s heritage in its widest sense.

Your support can help us to achieve CMDF’s objectives to:
  • Increase Colchester Museums’ capacity to offer accessible events and programmes.
  • Provide new opportunities for engaging with Colchester Museums’ collections and research.
  • Support and inform new initiatives across Colchester Museums that involve and reflect the diverse members of our community.
  • Expand Colchester Museums’ reach and impact through collaboration with community groups and businesses.

Ways To Support


Our goal is to keep our wonderful venues accessible to everyone. Funds raised through the Colchester Museums Development Foundation go directly towards furthering our education programmes, exhibitions, research and acquisitions.

Become a Guardian

Our Guardian Members help us to protect, share, and preserve Colchester’s heritage. Enjoy a range of benefits, including free entry to the Castle, invitations to VIP preview events, discounts in the Museums’ shops, and Museum Money vouchers for After Hours bookings and events. 

Adopt An Object

Choose from twenty of our most fascinating and well-loved objects, which you can symbolically adopt or gift to the history enthusiast in your life! Your support will help us to protect millions of years of local and global history.

Leave a Gift in Your Will

Help us to continue preserving and protecting Colchester’s history and inform the future of our work for generations to come. Leaving a gift in your Will is an amazing way to ensure that your support for Colchester Museums continues into the future.

Corporate Partners

Support the exploration and preservation of Colchester’s heritage as a corporate partner. We offer tailored packages of benefits for corporate partners, whether your priorities are corporate social responsibility, hospitality, or branding.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the Colchester Museums Development Foundation Newsletter, and we will send quarterly updates about all the good work that Colchester Museums are doing thanks to the support of our donors and Members.

The Trustees


Would you like to become a Trustee?


The Foundation currently has nine trustees and is seeking to recruit 2-3 more trustee positions. Colchester Museums and CMDF strive for diversity throughout our organisations, so we are seeking people with different life experiences to broaden our thinking and improve representation in the work we do. We welcome applications from both graduates and those without a degree, as a university qualification is not a requirement for this role. We also welcome applications from D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people, People of Colour, ethnically diverse communities, young people and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. We are particularly interested in hearing from candidates with experience or expertise in the following areas:

  • Business networks in Colchester
  • Community groups in Colchester
  • Education and young people
  • Finance
  • Sustainability and the Environment

If this sounds like you, consider filling in our application by clicking the link here.


In memory of Lawrence Walker


The Colchester Museums Development Foundation was one of a number of charities and organisations in Colchester that benefited from his wisdom, knowledge, good humour and generosity of spirit. He holds a particularly special place in our thoughts due to his vital role as one of the founding trustees of the CMDF. 

He will be greatly missed. 

The Trustees of the Colchester Museums Development Foundation


Sophie Weaver (Chair)


Sophie worked at Colchester Museums for a number of years before going freelance as an access consultant, where she has continued her access work in the cultural sector, working with many of the national museums. She also has become a podcaster and events host, whilst continuing to champion equal access for all. 


Glyn Barritt


Glyn spent many years in higher and secondary education, directing programmes to support the effective use of teaching and learning technologies. Her role brought her into regular contact with education leaders, teachers and students, the DfE and sponsors from every corner of society.  She is now enjoying opportunities to learn more about Colchester’s rich history and through the CMDF, is keen to explore ways of bringing that history to life and to promote the important role Colchester has played in the nation’s heritage. (@glynbarritt)


Philip Berners


Philip is lecturer and course leader for the events management degree programmes at the Edge Hotel School, University of Essex, Colchester campus and has a career organising high-profile events in the UK and Europe. He wants to bring his events expertise to the CMDF because he lives and works in Colchester and has ties with the city going back to 1980, so “it is about time I gave something back!” 


Mark Cheeseman OBE


Mark  is a Senior Civil Servant in the Cabinet Office, overseeing the government’s Counter Fraud and Grants Management Functions. He has undertaken various counter fraud, operations management and project management roles throughout his Civil Service career. Having studied Archaeology in University and undertaken a Masters in Roman Archaeology, he is enthusiastic for our history and heritage and continues to take an active interest in both preserving it for future generations and making it widely accessible.  


Denise Fiennes


An arts professional, and psychotherapist, Denise has been involved with music, dance, heritage and education for over 40 years as a consultant, board member or Vice Chairman, including English National Ballet and Friends of the Ipswich Museums. She is Vice Chairman of the Friends of the Ipswich Museums and a psychotherapist with an online practice and works with Teenage Mental Health in Ipswich. 


Frank Hargrave


Frank is Colchester + Ipswich Museums Manager. As his PhD focussed on the Later Iron Age, Colchester’s incredible archaeology from the period holds a special significance to him. For Frank, the CMDF offers an opportunity to both help protect some of the heritage of the city and to provide better access to it for new audiences.   


Andrew Lynn


Andrew has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years, recently at UNICEF UK, specialising in data and its use in fundraising. He has always loved museums and as a CMDF Trustee wants to help make Colchester Museums more inclusive, improving the museums with exciting developments.


Nick Wickenden


Nick recently retired from Chelmsford Museum as its archaeologist and manager, dealing with a variety of heritage projects. He moved to Colchester in 1986 and is Chair of Colchester Archaeological Trust. He would now like to use this experience for the benefit of Colchester Museums.  



Colchester Castle

A visit to Colchester Castle is better than ever before with interactive displays and star exhibits, like the Colchester Gladiator Vase and Fenwick Hoard of Roman treasure. 

Hollytrees Museum

Enjoy 300 years of history in this beautiful Georgian townhouse through hands-on exhibits and displays. Discover what family life was life for the rich and the poor.

Natural History Museum

Get up close to nature and find out more about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change at this family-friendly museum. 

Where will your adventure start?